LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California police officer shot and wounded a man who refused to drop what the officer thought could be a weapon and then also wounded a second officer who came to help, authorities said Saturday.
The La Verne Police Department officer had responded to a family disturbance around 3:30 a.m. Saturday when he confronted a man with “an unknown dark object in his hand,” which he believed was a weapon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators said.
The officer ordered the man to drop it, but the man didn’t comply with the order and approached the officer, prompting the officer to shoot him at least once, investigators said.
After he fired his gun, the officer realized the man did not have a weapon, the sheriff’s department said.
The man continued to approach the officer, who then tried to use a stun gun, but the man “continued to advance toward the officer in a threatening manner despite being ordered to stop,” the department said.
The man then reached for his waistband and “made a threatening statement” before the officer began firing again, striking the man in the upper torso, investigators said.
A second police officer who had responded to scene was also struck by the gunfire, sheriff’s official said. The officer, who was struck in the lower torso, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Sheriff’s officials said the suspect had been taken to the hospital, but his condition wasn’t immediately known. They have not said whether the man had a weapon.
The shooting came a day after a police officer shot and killed a man outside of a convenience store about 43 miles away in Huntington Beach.
Two short clips posted on social media appeared to capture the officer struggling to subdue the man in a parking lot of a 7-Eleven Friday morning before the man grabs something from the officer’s belt and the officer pulls out his gun and backs away.
In the second clip, the man jumps to his feet and almost immediately is shot. Seven rounds can be heard as the man stumbles backward and then collapses against a wall. The man, whose name hasn’t been released, didn’t appear to have a gun.
“Just because a person didn’t have a weapon, if he’s struggling with that officer and actively assaulting that officer and trying to take his weapon away, trying to take equipment from his belt that could harm him, he has every right and every responsibility,” Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy told reporters. “We train them to defend themselves with lethal force.”